Monday, December 31, 2007
And with this picture, I've finished the ten focus species for 2007, in the last 2 hours of 2007! I hope to begin to paint the remaining animals on the 100 list. I'll have to see if there is a list of focals for 2008. This has been a fun project; I enjoyed learning about all of these species, and at the same time trying out different art techniques and poses.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
The Slender Loris, Loris tardigradus, is a nocturnal primate found in Sri Lankan forests. It eats insects, small vertebrates, flowers, and tree gum. The tailless animal spends much of the day rolled in a ball sleeping, sometimes in groups. Slender lorises rarely leave the trees. This species is hunted for folk medicines and meat; its habitat is also being destroyed.
I love taking pictures of animals with their mouths open, and to a lesser extent, painting them with their mouths open. I'm not really sure why; I guess to me it adds a bit more interest than an animal just standing there. I also like getting a photo of an animal scratching itself. Yes, I'm weird. By the way, my cat was helpful in the positioning of the legs of the previous hippo picture. She doesn't look very hippo-like, but I'll take any quadruped I can get to stand there and pose.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
I read that elephant shrews thump their tails and feet when threatened; that's what this golden-rumped elephant shrew is doing. It looks kind of like its dancing. I'd like to see one of these guys in real life. They have cool colors, and I want to watch it moving its weird snout around.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
It doesn't help much that my cat was sitting on my desk the whole time I painted this. I sit by a window to get some natural light, and my cat likes to look out the window at birds, so her tail was whipping around in my paint and over my paper, and she kept trying to drink my paint water.
The long-eared jerboa, Euchoreutes naso, is a jumping rodent. They live in sandy deserts in north western China and Mongolia. Little else is known about these insectivores. Their populations are in decline due to human encroachment into their habitat.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
My only regret is that in this pose, you can't see the camel's neato feet. I was surprised that bactrians are as endangered as they are, with all the domesticated ones around the world. Some bactrian camels have fun hairstyles, so I made mine have a cool 'do too.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Wild Bactrian Camels, Camelus bactrianus, live in the harsh Gobi Desert. These animals have smaller, more conical humps than domestic camels; they're also less bulky. Their long eyelashes and sealable nostrils keep out the frequent sandstorms. There are over a million domesticated bactrians, but the wild variety is critically endangered. The camels, numbering less than 1,000, are threatened by resource and habitat competition with livestock and hunting.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I'm doing these paintings in random order, but I decided to finish the Yangtze River Dolphin next. It makes me sad to think that they're most likely extinct, or have so few left that the population won't recover. I tried not to make it look too cute, but what can you do when it's already smiling? This one gave me some trouble; it's so smooth, I couldn't hide my brushstrokes with fur texture. I ended up darkening it a bit more than I had intended to do. Most of my reference photos were from dead animals with varying colors, so hopefully this is accurate. Strange fact about me: I always paint the eyes of animals last (I think most people start with the eyes). On this painting, it pretty much looked the same before and after I added the eye.
Monday, October 22, 2007
The Yangtze River Dolphin, Lipotes vexillifer, is also known as the Baiji. It is a freshwater species found only in a small portion of the Chang Jiang. It probes the muddy river bottom with its upturned snout for fish. Little else is known about these secretive animals. The dolphin was determined to be functionally extinct at the end of 2006; however, there was a possible sighting in August of 2007. The Yangtze River Dolphin's numbers declined due to boat collisions, loss of habitat, hunting, and capture in fishermen's nets.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
For each animal, I'll make another post like talking a bit about the process of painting, plus any other fun facts. According to The Ultimate Ungulate Page, an excellent resource if I do say so myself, there is only one captive hirola (an elderly female in Texas). This picture is a female, since they have more reddish coloring than the grayer males. As seems to be a very common problem, I couldn't find any good photos of the hirola's feet, so I did the best I could on leg coloring and hoof structure. I had to sculpt a little head out of my rubber eraser to get the angle of the horns to look right.
Again, I had very few references, and I used some photos of different antelopes I took at the San Diego Zoo to finish this picture. Hirolas have long strange faces that are fun to draw, with a neat chevron between their eyes. Their preorbital glands are a bit disturbing to me.
Monday, October 15, 2007
The Hirola, Damaliscus hunteri, is also known as the four-eyed antelope, due to its large preorbital glands. Both males and females have ridged, lyre-shaped horns. These antelopes are found on arid plains in south-east Somalia and Kenya. The estimated 600 wild hirola are threatened by poaching and habitat loss.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Friday, September 7, 2007
Yangtze River dolphin – Lipotes vexillifer
Long-beaked echidna – Zaglossus bruijni
Hispaniolan solenodon – Solenodon paradoxus
Bactrian camel – Camelus bactrianus
Pygmy hippopotamus – Hexaprotodon liberiensis
Slender loris – Loris tardigradus
Hirola – Damaliscus hunteri
Golden-rumped elephant shrew – Rhynchocyon chrysopygus
Bumblebee bat – Craseonycteris thonglongyai
Long-eared jerboa – Euchoreutes naso
Saturday, September 1, 2007
I have always been interested in the strange and unusual animal species. When I read about this project, I decided that I would like to try to make an illustration of each of the 100 EDGE mammals. I hope that this personal challenge helps to raise awareness for these species. I'll be posting my paintings, along with more information about the species, as I finish them. I don't have any set date in mind to have them all finished, and I don't even know if I can find enough reference on each species. But I hope that I'll have illustrated the ten focal species for 2007 by the end of the year.